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The Power of Thinking in Building Blocks

"You get further in life by avoiding repeated stupidity than you do by striving for maximum intelligence." —Charlie Munger

When we think in terms of building block, we start to think in terms of reusability. We avoid reinventing the wheels. We avoid mistakes and repeated stupidity.

Building blocks allow to build things faster, and have bias of action. When we finish a project, or write in a journal, or create an idea list, we are in fact creating artifacts and building block for our future self to use.


Image: buildings built using lego blocks.

    1. Ideas as building block

    Ideas are atomic building blogs. NotePD is the ultimate tool to build an inventory of tiny blocks for your future self. By building an inventory of ideas, your future self can easily tap into an idealist when the time is to write and execute or expand on it. Some of my idealists have turned into bigger building blocks to be used in projects, and some idealists turned into blogs. These blogs or passages from these blogs can turn into chapters, etc.

    2. Micro skills as a building blocks

    Continuous learning is the way. When you focus on building micro-skills, you build "LEGO" blocks that can be used to build the Millennium Falcon. Digital writing can help you build an audience and write blogs and books. Storytelling and basic accounting are micro skills that can be used in your entrepreneurial journey.

    3. Stories as a building block

    Capturing your stories when you face obstacles and failures can be used in your next podcast or book. I only started capturing things that happened at work or in my personal life recently for future use. Also, stories from books or movies can be building blocks for your next youtube video, podcast, or presentation.

    4. Journaling as a building block

    Journaling is a key building blog for the future self. Goals, reflections, etc., can be used to get insights, ideas, etc.

    5. Artifacts from completed project as a building block

    The research you have done to write an article, the raw data you used to create a dashboard, the many books you read, and the highlights you created that went into the chapter of your new book are all building blocks for your future projects. We spend a lot of time and attention on things, but after we complete the work, they are forgotten.

    6. Abstractions as a building block

    Architects use blueprints and standardized abstraction that have proven to solve particular problems and have stood the test of time. These are building blocks to be used to build complex things.

    7. Mental models as building blocks

    SpaceX used modular rockets with reused engines; building blocks. Elon used 1st principle to build the rockets.

    8. Modules and libraries as a building block

    Software engineers use libraries and code that are well tested to build more complex solutions. These are reusable modules to prevent reinventing the wheel and to speed up the building process

    9. Passages and clauses as a building block

    It is rare when lawyers need to draft a contract from scratch. Most lawyers have access to clauses for standard matters they use to build upon them.

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